I woke up rather suddenly from a particularly vivid dream the other night. Oh, not to worry – it wasn’t the screamin’ jeebies or the cold sweats sort of a dream (although come to think of it, one of those might have been more entertaining.) No, I just woke up.
In it, I was a cowboy (surprise!) running a herd of cattle across an empty desert plain, hot sun beating down from a cloudless lid of bright blue sky. I remember thinking (in the dream, that is), There’s no food or water for these critters out here. How are we gonna make it? This is a really stupid idea.
Once awakened, you know what happened, right? Yep; the ol’ little gray cells assumed it was a genuine situation that had to be figured out, and immediately stampeded off into the night like that dreamland herd o’ heifers. That’s ridiculous, I found myself thinking. Nobody herds cattle across a desert. There’s no food. There’s no water. How could they make it? Maybe they could… uh… er… hrm… That’s a really stupid idea… and then round the circle we went again, over and over and… over.
Needless to say, this went on for some time. Eventually, though, a thought occurred to me as if it was the final nail in the coffin: It’s impossible.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I’ve run across some impossible things every now and then. And I’d venture to say that there ain’t nothin’ more daunting, lemme tell ya! It’s like… well, what the heck, I’m gonna go out on a limb here and assume you already know what that’s like.
Yep; impossible things surround us all the time, don’t they? A dream job, the perfect mate, an eventual golden retirement – they’re all around us. Are they really impossible? Well – maybe; maybe not. But I’ll bet you any amount you care to name that if you don’t at least try then it sure as heck won’t happen.
But what about those things that truly are impossible. Things like, for instance, my dream to finally be a… spaceman? (Sadly, it looks like the future I read about when I was a kid won’t happen soon enough for little ol’ me. Sigh.)
Not The Dream, But The Journey
Well, the thing is, even if impossible to actually achieve, some dreams are worth aiming for anyway. Why? Because sometimes, it’s not the destination, it’s the journey that counts, y’know? By that I mean that in the effort of preparing for that so-called “impossible dream”, you might just find yourself becoming a better person!
Even the indomitable Apostle Paul (yeah, that guy who wrote a huge chunk of the New Testament in the Christian Bible) faced the same thing. In fact, he compared life to running in a race:
You know that in a race all the runners run, but only one runner gets the prize. So run like that. Run to win! All who compete in the games use strict training. (1 Corinthians 9:24-25)
See, even though only one person can actually win a race, in order to compete, all who run must improve themselves. In that way, the journey becomes its own reward.
Not a bad lesson for life, wouldn’t ya say?
Photo: A Cow, by publicenergy